How to Choose a Medical Assistant Training Program near Downs Kansas
Now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Downs KS, it’s time to select a college that will furnish the right training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Many potential students start by checking out the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then gravitate toward those that have the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are very important, such things as accreditation, internship programs and job assistance are important factors as well. You might decide to research a few online medical assistant programs as an option also (more about that later). The main point is that before you select a college you need to complete your due diligence and compare all relevant qualifications of the schools you are assessing. And to assist you with that process, we have included a few questions that you need to ask all of the schools on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s talk a little bit about the function of a medical assistant and the kind of credentials and training that are available.
The Duties of Medical Assistants
The responsibilities of a medical assistant can be varied as well as demanding. Basically their duty is to make sure that the Downs KS clinics, hospitals and other medical care centers where they work operate successfully. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller facilities both. They are tasked with providing direct assistance to the nurses, doctors and other health professionals but may also be found performing duties in an office or at the front desk. Some of the possible duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and filing claims
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other tissue and fluid samples
- Preparing instruments and rooms for physicians
- Giving basic support during exams and procedures
While medical assistants can carry out almost any activity they are authorized to under Kansas law, some choose to specialize in a particular area and earn certification. Two of the choices offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) made available by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
In contrast to most other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not required to become licensed, certified, or to obtain a college degree. However, a number of Downs KS health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training school (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options available for a formal education. The first and shortest way to becoming a medical assistant is to obtain a certificate or diploma. These programs generally take about 1 year to complete, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are developed to teach the fundamentals of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to attain an Associate Degree, which are usually 2 year programs available at community and junior colleges together with technical and vocational schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the certificate or diploma programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant classes. They usually have a practical element involving an internship with a local medical practice. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a four year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a similar field.
Online Medical Assistant Schools
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available online too. They are an excellent choice for individuals who may not have time to go to classes on campus but could fit them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good alternative for students who continue to work full-time while earning their certificate or degree. As an added benefit, many online schools have cheaper tuitions than the more traditional on-campus options. Ancillary costs such as for textbooks, commuting and school supplies may be reduced as well. Just keep in mind that any requirements for practical training or internships must still be satisfied, but they can typically be performed in Downs KS area healthcare facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this approach to getting your education might be the ideal choice for you. Between the online courses and the practical training, everything necessary to achieve proficiency to work as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Options for Medical Assistants
As stated previously, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is an excellent idea for those who want to advance their careers. It will not only help in getting a position after graduation, but it can also enhance initial salary negotiations. A number of potential Downs KS medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not obtained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and perhaps the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to apply for the CMA examination, an applicant must be a graduate or will graduate within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Other certifications are available also, such as the CMAA and the CCMA that we previously mentioned which are provided by the NHA.
What to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school options, you need to choose which type of credential you want to earn, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those decisions have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students restrict their searches to the schools that are closest to Downs KS with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are several additional issues that you should examine when evaluating schools. To assist you with that task, following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are thinking about before making your final choice.
Is the Medical Assistant School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons to make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited. To begin with, accreditation helps ensure that the education you receive will be both extensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you plan on becoming certified, you need to complete an accredited program. Two of the acknowledged agencies for accreditation are the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If your school is not accredited by either of these agencies, you will not be allowed to take the CMA examination. Also, if you anticipate applying for a student loan or financial assistance, they are normally not offered for non-accredited programs. And finally, as mentioned previously, a number of prospective Downs KS employers will not employ a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Rate? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools create their programs to prepare students to pass one or more certification exams. First, you must determine which of the certifications the programs you are looking at are preparing their students for. If you are interested in taking the CMA for instance, then of course you will want to enroll in a program concentrating on that certification. Second, learn what the school’s passage rate is for the certification and contrast it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the ways to help assess the quality of a college’s program. Of course schools with low rates are those that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Provided? As we covered earlier, there are essentially two paths to obtaining medical assistant training. You can select a certificate or diploma program and obtain entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is closer to one year. Or you can choose to earn an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately two years to finish in a community college or vocational school. Whatever program you choose to pursue, make sure that the colleges you are considering provide the type of program you are interested in.
Are Internships Offered? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Downs KS area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to receive hands-on practical training and experience. They can also assist students build relationships within the Downs healthcare community. And as an added benefit, they are an advantage on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Service Furnished? Landing that first job may be a difficult task for graduating medical assistant students unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Confirm that the schools you are interviewing provide job placement assistance in the Downs KS area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has a good reputation within the health care community. It also indicates that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size can be an indication of how much personal instruction you will receive throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more prone to provide increased access to teachers and one-on-one interaction. If practical, try to attend a few classes before enrolling in a program to observe what the teaching environment is like and how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Accommodating? If you plan on attending a medical assistant school while you continue to work full-time, it’s essential that the program you choose offers classes that fit your schedule. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Downs KS, make certain that those times are offered. You might be able to fit your classes in easier with an online school, but you will also have to schedule any internships or practical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Downs Kansas?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Downs KS area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Downs had its start in the year 1879 when the Central Branch Railroad was extended to that point. It was named for William F. Downs, a railroad official from Atchison. Downs became an incorporated town in December of the same year. In 1910, the city had a population of 1,427. Business included 2 newspapers, a public library, flour mills, grain elevators, and an opera house.
Downs is located at 39°30′12″N 98°32′37″W / 39.50333°N 98.54361°W / 39.50333; -98.54361 (39.503305, -98.543500). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.00 square mile (2.59 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 900 people, 424 households, and 239 families residing in the city. The population density was 900.0 inhabitants per square mile (347.5/km2). There were 508 housing units at an average density of 508.0 per square mile (196.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.6% White, 0.1% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
Choose the Right Medical Assistant Program Downs KS
It’s imperative to begin your new career on the right foot by selecting a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Whether you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you must get the appropriate information on available programs before making your selection. There are so many colleges providing training nowadays that you can make a selection based upon your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, confirm that the program you pick is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the CAAHEP. This is especially important if you plan on taking the CMA certification exam. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in How Long Does It Take To Be A Medical Assistant. But regardless of the type of credential that you intend to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an online or on-campus school, be sure to ask the questions we have supplied so you can evaluate programs and make an informed decision. And by choosing the ideal program you can subsequently begin a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Downs KS.
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